Having fled a war zone as a toddler (Lebanon in 1976) and on arriving in the UK, having hidden under the bed when the commercial jets flew over the house, it’s a mystery as to why the sound of rockets whirling overhead holds so much fascination for me.
Yet every year, I’m drawn to the whizz bangs, as my Grannie would call them, like a moth to the flames. (Hmmm, where did that analogy come from?! Best not dwell!)
By rights, as a catholic born woman with anti-establishment leanings (despite the contradcition there in) I should be on the side of the gun powder plotters and not the celebratory royalists when it comes to Guy Fawkes Night; but I’m not. Well, the history doesn’t factor into the equation (if I’m honest). It’s not the celebration of a foiled attempt at killing a king that is front of mind but the pretty colours, the surprise of the exploding display and the ensuing oohs and aahs that have me enhralled every time!
The first year my husband and I were together he didn’t fully understand the need I have to see the fireworks* and he watched, dumfounded, as I sat, nosed pressed against the window to grab whatever glimpse I could or stop whatever I was doing to wander into the garden at the faintest sound – pavlovian really! The following year he took me to the Ravenscourt Park fireworks during which he witness by regression to a jumping up and down squeeling child – even though a not inconsiderably sized piece debris landed on my head half way through.
Today I’m off to a kiddie’s display to celebrate a friend’s daughter’s third birthday; hope she loves them as much as I do…
* If proof is needed, I trudged across London, from a perfectly pleasant house party in North London to join the masses under the Embankment for the fireworks that welcomed in the new millenium; took a boat trip to see the fireworks to celebrate Malta’s entry into the EU (they make them there you know) and this fireworks’ night stood on a friend’s driveway for 10 minutes, watching the local display before ringing the door bell (I was 10 minutes late when I arrived)!